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So, the Sharks of Sussex are out of the world’s finest international-club-versus-franchise jamboree. Their elimination on Tuesday night raised many questions. What were they doing there? What time is the flight home? When will they get their money? Additionally, the manner of their exit led some to question the legitimacy of the super over as a method of settling a match. Surely, it was a violation of Rory Hamilton-Brown’s human rights for him to be embarrassed twice in the same match. Isn’t there a better way? Indeed there is. Here, for your thoughtful consideration are four proposals for ensuring a swift and compassionate end to proceedings on those occasions when the participants have been too inept to sort it out for themselves.
The Coin Toss Before we consider the ridiculous, let us contemplate the sublime. The coin is, in fact, an elegant and unimpeachable arbiter and many of us have made some of our most important life decisions after flinging a bit of currency into the air. Indeed, I know of one particular High Court judge who would simply be unable to dispense justice as efficiently as he does without recourse to the coin toss. If it is good enough to decide upon prison sentences, marriage proposals, job offers and where to go for lunch, it ought to be good enough to settle the outcome of a Twenty20 game.
The Percentometer Cricketers love statistics but are notoriously unreliable. When Ravi Bopara says he gave it 110%, how can we be sure that this is an accurate estimate? For all we know, he might only have given it 106% or 99%. Fortunately, scientists at the Adelaide Institute of Silly Studies have developed the Percentometer, a device that can measure how hard a team have tried in percentage terms by correlating sweat volumes, profanity output and steely glares. In the event of a tie, the team with the highest Percentometer readings will win the game.
The Bank-Off These days, business goes with cricket like parasitic green algae with an ornamental pond. So why not bring some of the features of the corporate world into our great sport? In the event of a stalemate, accountants dressed in team colours will make their way to the middle of the pitch, and at specially built desks will proceed to audit the opposition team’s accounts. The franchise with the fewest accounting errors will be declared the winner. The only disadvantage with this suggestion is that it could take several hours, but this will allow plenty of time for television commercials.
The Dance-Off For reasons that are not immediately apparent, watching people dance badly on television has become very popular in certain parts of the world. What better way to cash in on this trend than by introducing a ballroom-dance competition to settle tied cricket matches? Each team will choose one pair of players to dress up in spangly suits and silly grins and perform in front of a celebrity panel of dance-floor dynamos, including Ravi “Rumba” Shastri and Sunny “Samba” Gavaskar. Watch out for Kolkata’s fabulous couple of captivating captains, Sourav Ganguly and Brendon McCullum. Their foxtrot is something to behold.
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Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. Providing his ransom demands continue to be met, he has promised never to write a whimsical book about village cricket. @hughandrews73